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Grateful Dead Live at Hill Auditorium on 1971-12-15

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Grateful Dead Live at Hill Auditorium on 1971-12-15

Set 1

Me And Bobby McGee
Mr. Charlie
China Cat Sunflower ->
I Know You Rider
Beat It On Down The Line
It Hurts Me Too
Cumberland Blues
Jack Straw
You Win Again
Run Rudolph Run
Playing In The Band
Brown Eyed Women
Mexicali Blues
Big Railroad Blues
Brokedown Palace
El Paso
Casey Jones

Set 2

Dark Star ->
Sugar Magnolia
Turn On Your Lovelight ->
I'm A King Bee ->
I'm A Man ->
Turn On Your Lovelight ->
Two Trains Running ->
Turn On Your Lovelight

One More Saturday Night

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Hill Auditorium
Location Ann Arbor, MI

Source SBD -> Master Reel -> Cassette -> Dat (48k)
Lineage Dat (Sony R500) -> Sound Devices 744T -> Adobe Audition v1.5 -> Samplitude Professional v10.2 -> FLAC
Transferred by Charlie Miller


Patch Info:
SBD -> Master Reel -> CD supplies:
Big Railroad Blues (complete track)
Brokedown Palace (complete track)
El Paso (complete track)
Casey Jones (complete track)
Turn On Your Lovelight (18:47 - end of track)
Uncle John's Band (complete track)

-- All disc changes are seamless
-- It sounds like the patch source has a different mix
-- I used Eaton's Dat source since it sounded better than the patch source
-- The beginning of Big Railroad Blues is cut
-- Lovelight contains King Bee and I'm A Man verses
-- Thanks to Rob Eaton for lending me his Dats
-- Thanks to Digitalrbb for the patch source
-- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction


Reviewer: squattingturkey - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2016
Subject: Awesome show
This is a pretty fantastic show, I really enjoy some of the tighter playing of late 71. I actually really loved the mexicali blues in this one, a bit faster than the later versions, and the build up into controlled chaos at the end is something to hear. I've been listening to this show while at work in my office, and when I do that, I tend to judge what stands out for me by what portions of the show completely demand my attention, forcing me to stop what I am doing and focus purely on the magic the band is creating. Those moments in this show are; mr. charlie (this song pretty much always does it for me) the China>rider (I really love these earlier versions, I find the segues to be a little less predictable, but that could be because I haven't dove into this era as much as I have 72 through 80), hurts me too is Pig in top form, Cumberland blues brings some great energy to the first set, and Brokedown palace is, as always, beautiful.

The dark star to start off the second set is very nice. Its once of those Dark stars that transports me to a different place. To me, the best Dark Stars seem to bend time itself, where the passing of time seems to get slower and faster as it goes through. This one kept my attention for its entirety, and when the opening chords of deal started, I had a hard time believing 20 minutes had gone by. This one never seems to stay in one place too long, it has parts of beauty, melody, joy, weirdness, and darkness. My favorite Dark Star really depends on the mood I am in, but this one seemed to go to all the places I think about when contemplating the differences in Dark Star performances.

The rest of the set is great, with portions of lovelight and all of uncle john's making me focus completely on the music again.

All in all, great show. If I want to get any work done this week, I may have to pick a different tour to listen to for a bit, these late 71 shows that Ive heard have all been consistently incredible

Last, this recording is amazing. Some previous reviews complain about the mix a little, but I think that boils down to personal preference. Yes, Keith is a bit louder here than usual, but I did not find that to be detrimental to any of the others space. I can still hear phil just fine. Its always interesting to hear what the different key players brought to the sound of the band, and this is a great show to showcase what keith contributed to the music!
Reviewer: c-freedom - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 16, 2014
Subject: Dark Star>DEAL
I started off listening to the 1986 TDIH and quickly realized that I needed to go Furthur back in the old time machine.
This 1st set is very good. It is the sum total of all the tunes that makes this work. They are all well played and you get a unique perspective on Keith's role in the band.
Good to hear the Pigpen tunes. Also frees Jerry up to play his guitar when Pigpen is at the helm.(Of course same goes for when Bobby sings lead)
A beautiful DARK STAR to open the 2nd set.
There was some flak in the comments about this STAR and I personally would file that under
'You Have no clue' because the jam into the first verse borders on a meltdown and the jam after the 1st verse hits some great uncharted territory.
(This is the primary open ended main trip part of the show as well)
The DEAL outta DARK STAR is so mellow and fine that my old lady was grooving on it HARD.
Nice SUGAR MAGNOLIA and then Pig takes over as Master of Ceremonies.
Also as previously mentioned by numerous reviewers if you like Keith up in the mix then this is your show.
Reviewer: chris phillips - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 15, 2014
Subject: 10/19-12/15
The Dark Star is at the top for '71. The Love Light jam is smooth sailing. Brokedown is gorgeous. The list goes on.
This is a real spirited effort to end the tour any way you look at it. Thank You Charlie Miller as always.
Reviewer: mercury2113 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2014
Subject: Remember Those Phish & Dave Matthew Idiots?
Remember those Phish & Dave Matthew Pukes who would come to shows because someone in someone's frat told them "it will be a party!"

We had to endure those idiots with their short hair and their buying of Miller Lite for $8.00 dollars per 8oz cup. All the way up to '95 we had to endure those idiots...calling themselves Dead-Heads; Ah well.

Phish = Too Lazy For the Dead
DMB = Miniscule Drunk Intellects
Reviewer: jbxpro - - January 26, 2014
Subject: clarification
Hi, just wanted to say that I was a bit taken aback when I saw this setlist, because I'd never heard of the Dead doing I'm a Man or Two Trains. Of course, when I saw those I thought "Spencer Davis Group" and "Little Feat." Actually what's called I'm a Man here is a bit of Muddy Waters' Mannish Boy and "Two Trains" is not the Little Feat song but a traditional song also done by Muddy Waters. See Funny that all versions of this on IA list "I'm a Man" when it's not ... oh well.
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 5, 2013
Subject: Really too bad about the lack of track numbers.
It's a good listen. Really not the best, despite my detractors: it's one of the most boring Dark Stars I've ever heard, for one thing. The recording isn't balanced well, with Keith very prominent & jangly in the mix. Garcia's playing is pretty lazy during most of the 2nd set.

Yes, I downrate things based on track labeling. You wouldn't rate a bad recording high, would you? Stream-only shows with no track labeling are impossible to organize, as I've found to my chagrin. It's easy for the people who upload them to the site to program the track numbers in. Why don't they do it? Laziness? How does that merit 4 stars?

OK, look: whatever! Most people who rate these shows do it to help themselves pick shows to store on their computers. I don't tell other people what reasons they should have for the ratings they give, that's why it's a freakin democracy. Except when they rate shows because they don't like what other reviewers are saying: that's where I draw the line. But OK, I agree, it's a 4-star show, so fine: here's a 4-star rating. Can we shut up now?
Reviewer: ms42466 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 16, 2012
Subject: 5STAR without even listening ! Faith based inititive
previus reveiwers 1star prevoked this.
please read others reviews as u listen
great wisdom from others.
he who has EARS2hear, let him live on dead.
Reviewer: Tidewater four ten O nine - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 16, 2012
Subject: The boy's a fool ..........
December 16th 2012:

Dear 'NJPG',

whether your issue is valid (you obviously think so) or not (I don't think it is), do you really think giving shows like this a poor rating is the right way of resolving your issue? Do you think this will achieve anything other than giving you the opportunity to vent your spleen and make yourself look stupid at the same time?

Maybe you should post something to the forum and ask how other people get round this supposed problem? You'll probably find most people are helpful and, if they can help you, they will.

Alternatively, if you're shy, E-mail me ( and I'll tell you how to sort this out. I'm a 'techno-knob-head' and I'm sure that if I can do it you can too. If you can type, it's easy.

Either way, stop giving 5 star shows by our favourite band the lowest rating.

Best wishes,



Everyone else gives it four/five stars = excellent

'njpg' gives it one star due to lack of track numbers (? - maybe go buy a commercial CD), yet concedes (otherwise) it's a good show.

The boy's a fool .........
Reviewer: Satori70 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2012
Subject: 'You're going to have to work on your diction'
Wow ! I wore out my tape of a few songs from this show also. I got it from the weekly Dead hour off the radio, but never heard it sound so clear !

Thank you Archive to finally hear the complete show, and also BIG thanks to Charlie Miller for cleaning this one up nice.

This is a solid 4 star outing, maybe because of nostalgia value, but some of these versions are just on fire ! Not the best ever, but a personal favorite. They don't give 1/2 stars, and my 5***** may be a bit high, so it offsets some of the unreasonably low ratings (1star?).

Run Run Rudolph !! Happy Holidays everyone ~
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2012
Subject: --
An amazing companion piece to the night before; they do repeat quite a few tunes and the recordings (aside from a little piano distortion) sound identical. Not complaining, mind you! December '71 was truly a magnificent run.

First set: Try that "Hurts Me Too" - sooooo slooooooowwwwwwww....and gotta love those pre'72 mini-jam Playin' exercises! Lovely 'Brokedown", too...

Second set - just hang on to your hat, really - they get the hook wayyyyy in on Dark Star the jam's residual effects kind of blanket Deal, which seems to evolve so naturally and beautifully from the extended groove. Sugar Magnoia, my god, they are on freaking FIRE! Then Pig gets in on the act with a 20-minute Lovelight 'suite' of sorts - may be one of the last great renditions of this great Dead experience.

Listen to both nights here - they're outstanding.
Reviewer: mrbill - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 9, 2012
Subject: Despite the mix, this show is f***ing great.
Despite the mix, this show is f***ing great.

One of my faves is Brokedown Palace. Normally, I find it distracting when Jerry screws up the lyrics. But this is such a great version that it doesn't matter.
Reviewer: JasW - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2012
Subject: Would Be Top Notch, But Too Much Keith and Not Enough Phil
This a truly great and overlooked show, and one of the highest quality soundboards from this era. It also shows the Dead just before the laid back 'n mellow sound began to set in for good (see Europe '72).

The song selection is spectacular. It's got everything. (Well, everything one could expect at the end of 1971.) We have Pig in a great Mr. Charlie turn, and in one of his very last Lovelights -- played at breakneck speed, no less. Bobby's voice is terrific in his songs. Jerry is, well, Jerry, but 1971 Jerry, not Kinda Sleepy Jerry.

While the quality of the recording is the best you will find from this era, there are two disappointments in the mix. The first is Keith. He is firmly integrated into the band now, and his playing is clever, energetic, and absolutely on FYE-UH! However, he is WAY too prominent in the mix. So prominent, in fact, that at the end of Rider, several people in the crowd asks the band to turn the piano OFF (Jerry thinks at first they are asking to turn the piano up!). Indeed, at times the recording sounds like KEITH GODCHAUX (featuring the Grateful Dead). Don't get me wrong, his playing is terrific, but someone was asleep at the board here or bumped his fader way up by mistake and never corrected it.

The other disappointment is Phil -- he is either too low in the mix or the overall mix lacks bottom. (This latter possibility sounds likely because it's hard to make out Bill's kick as well). Indeed, there is a bit too much "presence" in the EQ, which brings out Keith and Bill's cymbals, but deemphasizes the low end.

But the show is certainly top notch and the recording (minus the mix/EQ anomalies) is great. If you can forgive these mix/EQ flaws, and are one of those who has mostly commercial releases and wants something terrific that will firmly fill in the gap between Ladies and Gentlemen and Europe '72, this is the show.
Reviewer: rschwz28 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 9, 2012
Subject: peak
CAMeyer, you are so right. A few years after this period (which I consider their peak), they embarked on their never-ending 'let's see how slow we can play' project. (Listen to an 80's Friend of the Devil.)

You want 'hard-rocking' Dead? September 9, 1969 or most anything from mid '68 to mid '69 gets my vote for maximum intensity.

But this show is absolutely worth hard and compact disk space. I'm starting the download right now!
Reviewer: CAMeyer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 21, 2011
Subject: An exemplary Dead show and an impeccable recording
As I didn't make to a Dead concert until '76, my original perceptions of the years before came from their studio and live albums, and more recently from later released live records from their first decade. So for me, this recording represents a transition point between the hard-rocking Dead represented by Skull and Roses and the mellower and more deliberate band heard in the European tour shows. Keith is fine form here (his work in Run Rudolf Run gives the song more of Jerry Lee Lewis flavor than the Chuck Berry sound you'd expect) and the presence of a strong piano player adds a dimension to the Dead's pre-existing sound without slowing it down much (as seems to come later). What's more, the vocal performances are strong and well controlled, which is not to be taken for granted in a Dead show, of course. Pigpen in particular turns in some fine efforts (esp Mr Charlie). There aren't too many sonic excursions here, but the playing is energetic and remarkably tight, and more nuanced than the performances from a year or so previous captured on S&R. Finally, the song selection is hard to beat.
As for the recording, what a nice job--clear, and a well balanced mix. Keith is prominent of course, but as mentioned his playing is top form and there's no problem hearing Bob and Jerry. My one complain is not enough Phil in the mix, but this problem is all too common in the commercial recordings as well archived shows. Thanks very much!
Reviewer: grifftrain2000 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 18, 2011
Subject: 1971-12-15
lack of track number? a one star show? thats the real shame as this is anything but a one star show. Its an excellent show
Reviewer: 1olddawg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2011
Subject: One of my first tapes!
I think I wore the oxide particles off my Maxell XL2 tapes of this gem - awesome show!
Reviewer: jjk8995 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2011
Subject: Sugar, Lovelight, Saturday Night, Rock on boys
I haven't listened yet but am about to. Without question, Keith was more in tune with the band in '71 then '77. By '77 his drinking was becoming an issue. You can hardly hear Keith on a lot of '77 shows. 1977 was my, if you will, favorite year, now, '71, '72 & '73 would be if I had to pick three; if only one it would have to be '72. In '77 the band could come out and grab you by the throat (come out as a 8.5 and maintain that level) in earlier years the band was more like a 5 course meal with the dessert being a culmination of all the taste treats of the evening. Anyway, it's all good. Thank God for Grateful Dead Music. Peace all
Reviewer: pigkeithbrent - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 29, 2011
Subject: Pigpen and Keith
My 2 fav members, my fav incarnation of the band, what could have been... listen to keith on im a man.... its so good its a bummer when u think about it
Reviewer: readroberts - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2011
Subject: Keith
Just listening to this for the first time, but I have to ask - how great is Keith's piano solo in You Win Again?

This is what I love about the Dead - never the same song twice...
Reviewer: TeaBag69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2011
Subject: UJB?
Great show and a great master/transfer job as usual by Charlie Miller - CM your efforts are eternally appreciated and I cannot express enough thanks for your work.

Does anyone know where this Uncle John's is from? According to DeadBase, which I know is not perfect but is pretty darn close and easily the definitive set list source, shows no UJB this night and no encore after Sat Night. And speaking of DeadBase I'll throw out a big thanks to Messrs. Scott, Nixon and Dolgushkin as well for an amazing job.

Love the Dec. tour, this is one of the best nights, as is Fox Th 12.10, Felt Forum
Reviewer: BIG_R - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 4, 2010
Subject: 12-15-71
You guys weren't kiddin' Keith is on fire. Excellent by Charlie too.
Reviewer: Kutsavi - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2010
Subject: Wow Keith, but WOW Sam Cutler, too!
No one's mentioned it, but Sam Cutler does the intros - folks say he was responsible for the violence at the Altamont concert in 1969; that might be true or not. What's certain is that Cutler WAS responsible for organizing the Dead's Europe '72 tour, and the Festival Express train ride across Canada. Cool to hear him here! Awesome show, and a bit 'o history, too. Nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile :-)
Reviewer: gratefuldiver - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 24, 2010
Subject: WOW!!!
After my first listen, this show is on my list of all time favorites. I've read reviews that Keith was better in late 1971 than 1977 (and thought them to be nonsense), and this show alone lends a lot of credibility to that claim. He is so on (and so loud, granted), every song smokes despite short jams (excepting DS and LL). Other than occasional buzzing in the left channel, the sound quality is superb! Thank you, Mr. Miller.

Reviewer: Direwolfman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2010
Subject: WOW
Charlie -thanks for another sweet sounding show!

Love the setlist, quality of sound and seamless to boot. What more can you ask for?

If like me you had partial show or earlier version of this concert, I suggust you download this Miller exclusive.

Reviewer: Evan S. Hunt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2010
Subject: If You Like Keith
If you like Keith prominent in the mix, this is your show.

Right after the opening song someone yells something and Jerry responds, "What's that? You want the piano louder?" Thereafter, the piano is louder.

The louder piano shows off Keith's prowess on the ivories. This reviewer would have liked the organ louder, too. The organ is relatively undetectable ~ would leave one to believe that Ron did not even play the organ that night.

Having witnessed both Harding Theater shows in the previous month this reviewer can testify as to the general flawlessness by which the band performs, and their jams were equally well-executed.

All songs are well done, but a few that really catch the attention is an amazing Dark Star that has many breath-taking guitar gyrations. The Sugar Magnolia is an all-timer and the Lovelight and other Ron stuff in the second set is spectacular.

Also need to point out the version of PITB, which is a shorty, but which features a quickie action-packed jam.

Should also note that all the newer material in the first set is played with much more dispatch than how these songs would eventually be done. Once theses songs were perfected they were slowed down considerably, but listening to these versions on this show is not too shabby as the these selections have an endearing peppyness to them which grabs the ear.
Reviewer: Sedula - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 9, 2010
Subject: Dark Star-->Deal
Really good show with a one time only (I think) Dark Star-->Deal! Also love the Run Rudolph Run for X-Mas time. Would give 4.5 stars if they let me.
Reviewer: gratedude69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 9, 2010
Subject: A MAZING
this is god damn amazing...
Reviewer: Smerdyakov - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2010
Subject: Killer 71 Sleeper
Lots of inspired a playing delivered with aplomb.
This Lovelight is one of the last and Pig lets it all hang out. Calling it the end of an era feels like an understatement. He was the soul of the band.
Reviewer: redsteal your face - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2009
Subject: KEITH!!!!!
unbelievable SBD here. Keith is prominent, and he's ON... of the many china>riders, this is especially memorable. It's a little bit much at times (BRRB), but definitely worth many listens...
Reviewer: 3-13-81 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2009
Subject: Charlie Miller
Another spectacular Charlie Miller board...and another spectacular '71 show. Thanks Charlie...
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 6, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" December 15, 1971 at the Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.


I already have this show, but it's not a Charlie Miller transfer so I am downloading it again.

Thanks to Charlie Miller, Joe B, Rob Eaton and all the gang that gave their hearts and souls to put this on the internet so that the MUSIC never dies, and people all over the world can feel the love from the GREATEST LIVE BAND IN THE UNIVERSE, the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry, and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the LOVE from December 71, at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor Michigan.

PS: Keith's playing can be heard easily during this show...he's HOT, HOT, HOT!
Reviewer: SomeDarkHollow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 5, 2009
Subject: Just Keeps Gettin' Better
OK, much disscussion on other sources about completeness, with some folks even taking away points based on that alone (can't really get behind their resoning, but to each his own). This, however, is the whole deal, and what a deal it is. Fan-freakin'-tastic. The sound is just too damn good. Love it. The show itself is high energy, with everyone sounding in top form (Pig especially sounds on top of his game here). Thanks for the great work again, Senor Miller. The gifts keep falling from the heavens.
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